October 24, 2020

As you may know, GitHub recently complied with an RIAA legal threat demanding they cease distributing youtube-dl. Last time something like this happened, nerds around the world revolted by putting the affected software on T-shirts and whatever other media they could get their hands on.

In that tradition, I put youtube-dl on a T-shirt:

T-shirt with “youtube_dl-2020.9.20-py2.py3-none-any.whl” document icon

You can get it here. If anyone buys this I’ll donate any profits to the youtube-dl legal fund (if one gets set up) or the EFF or something.

An incomplete and infuriating list.

A few additions that others have suggested:

Even more, after this made the rounds again in 2024:

Unfortunately, Rocket Lab does not seem to be named after seed investor/aerospace entrepreneur Mark Rocket.

I love the phrase “much ballyhooed”: I even used it as my Twitter bio for a while. Does anyone ever use any word besides “much” before “ballyhooed”? Has anything ever been described as “occasionally ballyhooed”?

A couple of days ago, I was working on a web server, and I got stuck on the “tell the server to listen on localhost:3000” step. Why was I using port 3000? For local development, it’s a meaningless and arbitrary choice. That got me to wondering: what port numbers do others choose use when developing software?

A few days ago I wanted to find a dataset with a list of winners of the Palme d’Or. The table on Wikipedia wasn’t formatted in a way that would be easy to copy, and I figured this was as good a time as any to figure out how Wikidata works.

Wikidata is a Wikimedia Foundation project that aggregates structured information about the world. It stores and retrieves facts based on an item/property/value system. Items are nouns, like Parasite. Properties define a relation, such as “award received” or “director”; they also specify another item as the value associated with that property, like Palme d’Or or Bong Joon-ho.

Wikidata provides a public query interface that uses a query language called SPARQL. No relation with Spark: it’s actually running on a graph database called Blazegraph. The query language works on a sort of fill-in-the-blanks basis with the item/property/value triples.

For example, to see which awards Parasite won, you can write a query like this: